Click here to see an article about Offcumdens on Hello Yorkshire!
Here is an extract:
The genesis of Offcumdens can be traced back to when Bob and Emma first met at a poetry event at The Leeds Library in 2017. Bob introduced himself as a photographer and admitted to not being particularly interested in poetry, only having gone along to support a friend who was reading that night. When Emma located his website she was impressed enough by his street and landscape photography to get in touch. A germ of an idea had already taken form. She asked if she could write some poems inspired by his images. Intrigued to know what words she would find, he encouraged her to try. Somewhat to his surprise, the poems she produced spoke to him and they started to collaborate and experiment further. Emma usually wrote a poem in response to a photograph, but Bob also found photographs to pair with existing poems. Occasionally, going on expeditions together, the selection of a photograph and the words for a poem would evolve organically as a result of a shared encounter or experience. The project started to take shape.
From the very outset, both photographer and poet felt that the images should be black and white. Bob suggests that where a colour image is a representation, a monochrome image gets below the literal surface, pointing to something that’s not in the image itself but in our own experience. In that way, a black and white image is more akin to a poem. Emma stresses the importance of making her poetry accessible to readers. She enjoys using a variety of poetic forms and a mix of humour and poignancy in her writing. They both hope the combination of photographs and poems will reach a wider audience than either images or words could on their own. The whole is more than the sum of the parts.
The result of Bob and Emma’s creative collaboration is a coffee-table book of 41 black and white images and poems published by Fair Acre Press in paperback and hardback editions. The launch event was held on March 17th at The Leeds Library, allowing the project to come full circle.